Dr Chris Mark
- Postdoctoral Researcher
Chris obtained his PhD in Geology from Imperial College London, focussing on the tectonic geomorphology of the Gulf of California rift system. He has since worked on the application of novel mid-temperature thermochronometers to track the tectonic development of the European Alps at TCD. His current project will utilise these techniques to investigate linkages between the sedimentary record of the Irish Atlantic offshore and the onshore exhumation record, with particular emphasis on the contribution from mantle dynamics.
Sand is magic stuff: each grain has experienced a unique history. First, it crystallised: perhaps in a river of molten rock flowing from a volcano, perhaps deep beneath an active mountain range as the rising peaks squeezed and heated the rocks beneath them, or perhaps even in the shell of an animal on the seafloor. Then, it was eroded out by wind, water, and ice; travelled by river or ocean current; and finally came to rest – and all over millions of years. Some of these grains contain unique fingerprints: tiny quantities of rare chemicals, which can be analysed and used to work out what kind of rock the grain originally came from. We can even work out how long ago they were formed, by measuring the minute quantities (a few parts per million) of radioactive chemical elements within them, which decay to other elements over time at a known rate. I apply this kind of analysis to the sand in the sedimentary rocks offshore from Ireland, to help unravel the geological history of the island.
Project title: Reconciling exhumation models and sediment volumes in passive margin basins
Chris obtained his PhD in Geology from Imperial College London, obtaining and integrating data from fission track, (U-Th)/He, 40Ar/39Ar and geomorphologic analysis to trace the tectonic and uplift history of the Gulf of California rift system. He has since worked on the application of novel mid-temperature U-Pb thermochronometers to sedimentary provenance, and on the development of U-Pb single grain age profiles in apatite as a novel recorder of lower-to-mid crustal processes. His research interests focus on understanding and dating the processes at all crustal depths which lead to uplift, exhumation, and sediment generation, and how the resulting sedimentary archive can in turn be inverted to detect tectonic and mantle events.
His current project will utilise U-Pb and trace element analysis applied to a range of phases to investigate linkages between the sedimentary record of the Irish Atlantic offshore and the onshore exhumation record, with particular emphasis on possible contributions from mantle dynamics.
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Energy Security
- Sediment Tracking, Atlantic Basins, LA-ICP MS/OES, Provenance, U-Pb Thermochronology